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Exit Strategy (Nadia Stafford, #1)
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Exit Strategy (Nadia Stafford #1)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  4,607 ratings  ·  292 reviews
From the author of the acclaimed Women of the Otherworld series comes an exciting new heroine whose most secret identity is both lucrative…and lethal.

Regulars at Nadia’s nature lodge don’t ask what she does in the off-season. And that’s a good thing. If she told them, she’d have to kill them. She’s a hit woman for a Mafia family. Tough and self-sufficient, Nadia doesn’t o
ebook, 0 pages
Published June 26th 2007 by Bantam
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3.5 TO 4 STARS

Kelley Armstrong is a fantastic writer. I've loved everything I've read by her and even though this is different from her usual, I still really liked it. Nadia Strafford is a hitwoman, used to be a cop until a serious decision resulted in career-ending consequences. She also owns a lodge in Northern Ontario where she dreams of one day retiring to, but a serial killer is hunting innocent individuals and it all seems for fun. Along with her mentor Jack, and his associate, Evelyn, the
Jessica (Rabid Reads)
Kelley Armstrong is turning into a major point of confusion for me.

Most of the time when I REALLY a series by author--I'm talking Top 5 UF Series here--other books by the same author are a pretty safe bet. I might not absolutely love every single thing the write, but for the most part, I like them enough to have them on my auto-buy list . . .

Not so much here.

So far I've 86ed her YA books indefinitely, not liked the first book in her latest adult UF series (Omens), and now not much liked whate
Alex is The Romance Fox
I am a huge fan of Kelley Armstrong and it was a real surprise finding her new series that is nothing like her others, namely paranormal romance.

Introducing a new kick-ass protagonist, Nadia Stafford, ex cop turned hit woman/assassin of bad guys, we are taken into a world of criminals, assassins, spies filled with suspense and mystery.

Nadia Stafford, dishonorably retired from a Canadian police force for shooting a suspect dead, now owner of a lakeside lodge in the Canadian wilderness and part-ti
Janice (Janicu)
I liked this book because of the smart heroine. Nadia Stafford has to be, she's a hitman. People just don't last long in that business without brains. Either you get caught or you get killed. Nadia, or "Dee" (as she is called by other assassins who don't know her real name), was once a cop, born into a family of cops. After a traumatic childhood event, all it took for Nadia to take things into her own hands was one criminal scumbag who had hurt a young girl. Clearly she has issues brimming under ...more
You know the situation, when you expect so much from the book and it just left you disappointed?
With “Exit strategy” situation was reversed. I picked it up not expecting anything higher than middle-class book, but I find myself really enjoying it.
The summary of it is that an ex-cop now works as a hitwoman and unites with other hitmen for killing another hitman who became a serial killer. I think it is a cool story! It was full with action, strategy planning, police procedures and insight in hitm
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
What a fun read and unexpected female protagonist! Regulars at Nadia's nature lodge don't ask what she does in the off-season. And that's a good thing. If she told them, she'd have to kill them. She's a hit woman for a Mafia family.Yes, a disgraced cop turned lodge owner turned gun for hire. But Nadia is very picky about her targets - they all must be Mafia thugs. She is very cautious when she is on the job as we see in the first couple of chapters.

And then, something that can place her and ever
Carolyn Crane
Kelley Armstrong wrote one of my favorite books, Bitten. She’s fantastic writer and this is a sleeper series that definitely deserves more attention. I love the world of Nadia Stafford, and the interesting and meaty moral situations presented here.

While Exit Strategy is a definite deviation for her – no magic, very vague-to-no romance, it has all the Armstrong hallmarks--tight plotting, great details and well-drawn characters, right down to their speech patterns.

And it was deliciously psycholog
Loved the idea of professional hit woman (women and one man, actually) going after a rogue killer, and this would have been rated higher if Jack's speech pattern hadn't been quite so irritating. Like nails on chalkboard irritating - not saying much doesn't mean you have to omit every single pronoun from every single (short) sentence. I also didn't quite buy Nadia's justifications for the jobs she took, as there were glaring logical errors in her defence of working for a Mob family. But mostly th ...more
Ahhh, finally plunging into my last Kelley Armstrong series (well, not counting unpublished books!). This is set in the real world and just that was enough to make it feel like a very different kind of book for Armstrong. (Or maybe that was just me being overly conscious of that.)

(Hey, my boss just called me a winner. Writing reviews, working, I CAN DO IT ALL.)

This also has me thinking a lot about first books in a series and, specifically, Armstrong's in progress Cainville series, where Jess, Be
This is what could be the first in a series... and I loved it!

Nadia is a character all in herself. Her thoughts, her feelings, everything she sees - as the reader, you see. The way Armstrong incorporated Nadia's past into the novel was excellent. Not all right at the beginning, and you keep flipping pages, not only to see what happens next, but to find out more about Nadia and understand why she is the way she is.

Jack - there's a man I'd like to get to know. And I have a feeling that Nadia will
Mary JL
May 20, 2010 Mary JL rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any mystery or action fan
Recommended to Mary JL by: I received the book as a gift
Shelves: mystery-horror
This was very fast paced and excing. Starts out with two murders in the first 20 parges and keeps going.

Usually I prefer heroes to anti-heroes, and Nadia is a hitwoman. Nevertheless, the story pulled me in and I fou8nd it compelling reading. The flashbacks we get of Nadia's traumatic past make her a more sympathetic character, despite her occupation.

Therer is also a great deal of suspernse--when your partners are fellow hitmen, it is hard to know who to trust. Add public panic, the media frenzy
Exit Strategy is an intriguing beginning to unique series. Nadia, a hitwoman, gets a visit from her mentor, Jack. A hitman has become a serial killer and it has the possibility of shining too much light on their profession. Nadia and Jack team up with a crew of other hitmen to find the rogue and put a stop to his killing spree.

I loved getting to know Nadia. Her life before becoming an assassin and her motivation for doing what she does is strangely endearing. What I enjoyed most about the story
I'm a HUGE fan of Armstrong's Otherworld series, and of Kelley Armstrong herself, as I find she is an amazing, top notch, extraordinary author. Her descriptive, detailed and very evocative writing style is a joy to read, the readers feel as if they were in the middle of the story, seeing everything unfold in front of their eyes as in a movie. So the question wasn't whether I would read her not paranormal novels but when I would get around to read them. I gobbled up the first in the series (Exit ...more
D.C. Menard
Kelley Armstrong. I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it many many times again. She is, by far, my favorite author. And this book does nothing to change that fact. Before this point I've only read her supernatural series (The otherworld books as well as the Darkest Powers trilogy, and recently the first novel in the darkness rising series)

Originally I had no desire to read this book. I'm quite heavily into the supernatural scene, and I wasn't interested in reading anything else. But a fri
Hali Sowle
I was excited to hear that Kelley Armstrong had finally finished the last Nadia Stafford books (although there are only three) so I picked up Exit Strategy, the first book in the series, again.

Nadia used to be a cop, all her life all she wanted to do was be a cop, she came from a family of cops and as a child she lived, breathed and dreamed it. But when she comes face to face with a man who is arrested for abusing a young girl, the horrors of a childhood trauma come to the forefront and in the
Nadia is a paid killer and this is what the book centers around. She used to be a cop, but after she "retired" from the force, she needed money to fund her hunting lodge. A lodge where she doesn't permit hunting because it doesn't fit with her moral code. No kidding. We are introduced to Nadia while she is tracking her mark, a mafioso. Then we learn that there is a serial killer on the loose and FBI are stating that it might be a professional killer who as gone a little crazy. Nadia is worried w ...more
This is a story of a hitwoman who is hired by a hitman to join a group of hitmen to track down and eliminate a serial killer who is also a hitman-gone-mad. Got it? Great.

Knowing what I do of Armstrong's other series (romance-heavy), I was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did. Nadia is my favorite type of heroine - she's smart and tough and has her own moral code based on personal experience, rather than a naive understanding of the world. She's a former cop who comes from a family of cop
I'll start with my status updates, because they pretty much say it all.

Feels like early Anita/Edward in a world with no preternatural baddies.

You know, without paranormal yumminess or sexual chemistry or quirky personalities, mysteries are boring as hell.

I don't read straight mysteries, or haven't since I moved on from Nancy Drew. No Sherlock Holmes. No Agatha Christie.

J.D.Robb's "In Death" books are mysteries, but there is a romantic subplot and futuristic tidbits here and there. Evanovich's "
Lori Whitwam
This is a stand-alone (so far) book outside Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series, which I also read and enjoy.

Nadia is a former cop, having left the force after killing a suspect. (He had it coming) She suffered a childhood trauma in which she and her cousin were kidnapped, and her cousin was raped. Nadia escaped, but was unable to save her cousin. Now, a wilderness lodge owner in Canada, she's found a way to bring justice in her own way. She's a hitwoman.

Her mentor calls her in on a ser
Jun 21, 2008 Debra rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in female assassins
I love compelling beginnings, and with two murders in the opening chapters—one from the victim’s point of view and the other from a hitwoman’s viewpoint—I knew I’d be in for a good read. After her mission, Nadia Stafford returns to normal life as owner of a nature lodge in Ontario, unaware that a serial killer’s creating more victims in American cities. This changes, though, when an associate shows up to ask for Nadia’s help in stopping the “Helter Skelter” killer.

Authorities and professional as
Kelly Armstrong minus the supernatural aspects.

This is my first foray into Kelley Armstrong's writing, and overall it was an enjoyable one. I had assumed when buying it that it was another supernatural focused series but once I had started, it actually turned out to be a tale of hitmen and women going after one of their own who had gone 'rogue', and was becoming more and more similar to a serial killer.

The story was interesting, and the dynamics between characters enjoyable, if a little under-d
I adore Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld-series, and when I stumbled upon this book, I first doubted it would be as good as the paranormal stuff I love her for.
I took it up because I was curious, and I never regretted it.

I love KA's storytelling and worldbuilding, although I was not sure that the worldbuilding-part would be as important with this book as it is with the Otherworld-series.
But I was wrong: It is as important (and as well done) as with the other books - it's just a different world,
A four star is probably a bit optimistic, but sod it, I loved this book. Quite a long one, this gave a new side to Armstrong swapping the supernatural for assassins, but it's written with the same addictive captivity which sucks you in from start to end. After a major build up it ended quite surprising quickly for me as I thought the sub-storyline would be ended in this book two and it wasn't...guess that just means I'll have to get myself reading the next ASAP. What a shame!

And as an extra goo
This is quite different from the Women of the Otherworld series by Armstrong. It's a fascinating, estimated peek inside the world of the hitmen/women. I really enjoyed it and look forward to another novel with Nadia as the lead character. Her mentor and the way he spoke drove me up the wall though. It kept interrupting my enjoyment because the questionable way of speaking (which, let's face it, is prevalent in the US now) frustrated me. When people in real life speak this way, I want to hit them ...more
Armstrong tells a good tale. I've always found her characters interesting and believable. The main story of hitmen on the trail of a hitman turned serial killer hits both my buttons of teamwork and a motley crew who must work together without necessarily trusting each other. In addition, Armstrong weaves in a romance with standard, but very well-integrated, romance tropes such as miscommunication, misunderstanding, and a rival for affections. I particularly enjoyed that the problem that could be ...more
Cindi (cheesygiraffe)
Most excellent mystery thriller. Kelley Armstrong is back and better then ever. This reminds me of her first book Bitten. The writing style not the subject matter.
Nadia is a tough woman because of what she's been through in her past. She doesn't want to come off as a vigilante HitWoman but she came into the job because of a vigilante act. I can see her taking up Evelyn's job offer. And her and Jack are great partners. As for the serial killer in this book, he gets sloppy because he lets his ange
Oct 19, 2011 chucklesthescot rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: crime and thriller fans
Nadia lives on a hunting lodge where rich clients come to relax-the perfect place to hide your identity as a hit-woman for the Mafia.A serial killer is the talk of the media and his/her expertise is bringing the police too close to the Mafia.Nadia joins forces with other assassins to hunt for the killer.
Well written as you'd expect from a Kelley Armstrong book but just not my type of story.I don't like crime and Mafia stories so its no surprise that this didn't grab me.If you like this kind of
Nadia is a disgraced former cop who now owns a nature lodge in the Canadian wilderness. What all of her guests (many former cops) and caretakers don't know is that she is also a skilled hit woman on the side. A tragedy from childhood and the event that led to her early retirement combined to push her into the lucrative side business. A fellow hitman, Jack (friend? mentor?), approaches her with a proposition to team up to bring down a former hitman with a taste for killing.
I couldn't put this bo
And again I had trouble wading through a rather boring book.
No suspense, one little twist, a nice showdown, and then it drags again for a few pages.
I wanted to add the author to my pile of good authors, but this ain't it.
This is about hit-men and -women banding together with their teacher to hunt down a former hit-man turned would-like-to-be serial killer.
They have to much dialogue, boring stakeouts and hunt, with enough false information being hunted down to make the book even longer.
Too long,
It was pretty good, but not nearly as good as her Otherworld Series, in my opinion.
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Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked a
More about Kelley Armstrong...

Other Books in the Series

Nadia Stafford (3 books)
  • Made to Be Broken (Nadia Stafford #2)
  • Wild Justice (Nadia Stafford, #3)
The Summoning (Darkest Powers, #1) The Awakening (Darkest Powers, #2) The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3) Bitten (Women of the Otherworld #1) The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1)

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